An Update on Our Major Learning Project
A Bump in the Road and a Dent in the Rim
This past week was a bit tricky in my world. From dealing with tough situations at school, that had me second-guessing the teaching profession, to the ongoing saga of taking restrictions away, my head was spinning. Keeping teachers safe in the classroom was something that kept jumping to the forefront of my brain. When talking to many colleagues, and teachers near and far, many of us are feeling something that we haven’t felt before… ultimate burnout. From growing expectations to less and less support, all the way to feeling like the rug is being pulled from under us, there’s a lot that teachers are dealing with on a daily basis to try to keep our kiddos safe, engaged, and learning, often putting our own needs out of scope.
Have you ever felt that way before? Feeling like you’ve been modeling good teaching practices, yet still having someone unhappy? I thought long and hard about what it means to be a teacher in today’s world, and honestly, as of right now, I am not sure if I would push someone into the teaching profession. What a sad realization. Even though I contemplated the teaching profession over the last few days, I realized while looking in the fridge for a snack, that just because there is one rotten grape in the container doesn’t mean you throw the entire container out (it’s not like cheese, right?). Although some of you may disagree, and rightfully so, I realized that I was letting other people’s negativity get the best of me and that wasn’t fair for anyone. So, I’ve hashed it out, worked with a team on how to move forward, and realized that the support I received was exactly what I needed to continue on, one foot in front of the other.
Update: Where We’re At
To be completely upfront and honest, Durston and I haven’t made as much progress over the last week as we originally had mapped out earlier on in the week. Again, a few things came up at work and home for me, and we got a bit lost in translation. That’s not to say that we haven’t been chatting regularly, planning out things, and setting goals. But sometimes in life, there are setbacks, and refocusing our energies is sometimes needed to prioritize pressing matters in life that need to be tended to first. But we’re back on track and get going.
For those of you that are stopping by for the first time, Durston and I are in the works of creating our very own podcast. This has been a lingering dream of Durston’s, and I have been lucky enough to be able to jump on board. This week we have talked a lot about finalizing the music (intro and otherwise), some cover art (sneak peeks will be coming soon!), the layout for the first episode, as well a few other details. There’s a ton of work that goes into making a podcast that I never really thought about. I am super lucky that Durston is real techy and is refining so many of those details that I never even considered. From helping me pick a microphone (I found this one from Costco—reviews to also come soon), to finding music, different hosting platforms, and even apps to make editing a breeze, leave it to him! He’s really leading the horses on that side of things hands down.
Before class, and sometimes after, we meet up to chat about going forward—what needs to be done, where to go from here, and a plan of attack for the week. Are far as a partnership goes, we’re both pretty game for anything, and both willing to lead and follow when need be. It’s a good mix of strengths and a pretty good partnership.
Ribble in the Middle
This week we had a special guest, Dr. Mike Ribble who spoke to us about Digital Citizenship. We got a chance to take a sneak peek at some of the resources inside of his new book, The Digital Citizenship Handbook for School Leaders: Fostering Positive Interactions Online, and boy that was a treat. My favourite part was when he showed us a comprehensive chart, outlining the 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship Progression Chart (yes, follow the link and make yourself a copy—you won’t be upset you did). It’s visually appealing, shows pictorially the progression over the years, as well other concepts to be touched on, etc. At first, I thought that this book really didn’t speak to me in all the ways I wanted it to, but the more we saw glimpses of the book, I realized that it never hurts to get a little more educated.
I bet you’re asking yourself, what the heck does Ribble’s guest appearance have to do with your podcast anyways? Well, you’re in luck. On the first scheduled podcast, Durston and I plan to chat about Digital Citizenship and the role it plays, the importance of explicitly teaching it, how we use it in our own practices, and some go-to resources to help teachers get started. Is that the only thing we’re talking about? I guess you’ll have to check out our first episode when it airs soon! Oh, the anticipation!
Our Major Learning Project—Podcast, will be focused entirely on the different elements of Digital Citizenship and will change focus based on who our guest is for that episode. If you want some ideas on how to teach your kiddos about the 9 elements, check this short readout here. Using the 9 elements as jumping-off points will be beneficial for our podcast to keep the dialogue authentic, and not too prescribed. We want the episodes to flow and move in unforeseen directions based on the topics that are brought up, all in the parameters of Digital Citizenship of course. Real lived experiences are key in understanding the elements in a more authentic way. We also plan to create supplemental materials based on the podcast episodes from things that come up during our conversations.
You may be thinking that this seems really loosely based right now, and you’re right. We plan to record our very first episode this week, and boy let me tell you that there is so much to learn, organize and figure out. We appreciate your support, patience, and feedback. Right now, we’re working on a few insecurities and nerves we have around getting the first episode recorded and completed. We are excited to share with all Y’all what we come up with, and are pretty darn invested in this project!
Let’s Hear It!
Thanks for popping in! If you read through all of it, awesome! If not, no biggy. We would love to have some feedback, so feel to answer a question below (or as many as you want), leave a general comment, or just send a like our way. Everything and anything are greatly appreciated, and we are just so thankful that we have such an amazing community-building us up and keeping us motivated.
- Thoughts on a podcast name? Durston is leaning towards ‘Potentially Educational’. I threw out a few plays on his name: Hittin’ the Dursty Trail, Durston’s Daily Dose, The Dursty Educator (of course all of these would somehow feature Kelly from Tech in the City… not as fun). Durston has a pretty good name to make a play on words, that’s for sure. What title would you like to see?
- What would you like to hear us chat about in terms of Digital Citizenship?
- What guests would you like us to try to get onto the podcast?
- Is there anything about our project that you would like to learn more about (obviously, we’ll only be releasing a few sneak peek details so you’ll have to listen).
- I need some song inspiration for my titles. Do you have any great ideas?